Rocky Mount, N.C. - The purpose of the North Carolina Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor those individuals, who through their superior athletic achievements or by their outstanding service, have made long-lasting, exemplary contributions to the college. Beginning with its inaugural class in 1999, Wesleyan has bestowed this honor upon 70 former athletes, administrators, and coaches who created a higher standard for our Bishops. This year's inductees meet those same standards and will comprise the 20th class of honorees. The Department of Athletics is pleased to announce that former head football coach Jack Ginn, as well as two of his former players, Cedric Townsend and Quinderra Spellman, are the latest additions to the N.C. Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. The trio will comprise the inaugural class of honorees from the Battling Bishop football program.
Jack Ginn is honored to headline the 2018 Hall of Fame class after serving as the first head football coach in NCWC history and kick-starting a program that became the first-ever undefeated USA South Champion in league history. Ginn joined the Bishops in 2003 and immediately began recruiting coaches and players to join Wesleyan's inaugural team. He eventually led nearly 150 Bishops into battle on September 4th, 2004 at Shenandoah University, marking the first football game in NCWC history and beginning a notable list of "firsts" that grew much more quickly than most expected.
On September 18th, Ginn and his Bishops hosted their first-ever home game at the Rocky Mount Athletic Complex against Greensboro College. It proved to be a special day for the Blue & Gold as they recorded the program's first victory, as well as its first USA South Conference win, by a 14-6 score. NCWC accomplished another feat just two weeks later when the Bishops earned a 30-22 victory at Chowan University, marking the program's first road win. Wesleyan ended its first season of competition with a respectable 4-4 record.
The next two seasons saw Ginn steadily establish Wesleyan as a USA South contender, culminating with a 2007 season that remains the most successful in program history. After dropping the first two games of the season, his Bishops reeled off a program-record nine consecutive victories that included a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play and resulted in Ginn earning USA South Coach of the Year honors. Having secured the league's automatic NCAA berth, the team's ninth straight win was one for the record books as Wesleyan became the first #8 seed in NCAA history to upset a #1 seed when the Bishops knocked off a talented Washington & Jefferson squad by a 35-34 score in overtime. Ginn proceeded to graduate the program's first senior class before accepting a position at Division II powerhouse Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
Ginn's Wesleyan tenure saw him build a strong winning tradition for North Carolina Wesleyan football. From 2004 to 2007, his Bishops posted the 2nd highest winning percentage in the nation among newly-established D-III programs, and the Bishops boasted the highest winning percentage by a North Carolina D-III affiliate during that same span. Overall, he posted a 23-17 record, which included a 7-2 mark versus North Carolina opponents and an 18-9 record in USA South play. Individually, he guided 30 players to First or Second Team All-Conference honors, six players to USA South Player and/or Rookie of the Year accolades, and produced the program's first All-American.
Among those Ginn was privileged to coach were quarterback Cedric Townsend and defensive lineman Quinderra Spellman, who proved to be instrumental in the program successes mentioned above and are humbled to be selected as the program's first student-athlete inductees.
Townsend enjoyed a stellar collegiate career for the Bishops from 2004 to 2007 and made his mark as the USA South's first back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year honoree. Also a two-time All-Region performer, Townsend was twice named Wesleyan's Most Valuable Offensive Player, while also garnering NCWC Male Athlete of the Year accolades in 2007. He achieved those feats thanks to junior and senior year campaigns that saw the Kenansville, N.C. native combine for over 4,400 passing yards, 1,500 rushing yards, 38 passing touchdowns, and 23 rushing TDs.
Having led the Bishops in a variety of offensive categories, it comes as no surprise that Townsend still holds the NCWC program record for career passing attempts (720) and passing yards (5,653), while ranking second in career completions (399) and touchdowns (44). Considering the long line of talented running backs to wear the Blue & Gold, it should also be noted that Townsend ranks fourth all-time with 25 career rushing touchdowns despite playing his entire career behind center.
Townsend is a 2009 Wesleyan graduate with a degree in Exercise Science. Upon graduation, he took his talents to Europe where he is set to enter his tenth season playing professionally in Germany.
While Townsend is widely considered to be one of the most talented offensive players in Bishop history, the same can be said about Spellman on the opposite side of the ball. A native of Elizabeth City, N.C., Spellman made a name for himself as a defensive force in the USA South over the course of his career from 2005 to 2008. At the completion of his senior season, he held the game (3.0), season (7.5) and career (14.0) records for quarterback sacks while ranking second with 32.5 career tackles-for-loss. He was the first Bishop in history to call himself a four-time All-Conference performer, and of his four league honors, three were First Team nods.
The 2005 USA South Defensive Rookie of the Year and a 2008 All-Region selection, Spellman was named Wesleyan's 2008 Defensive Most Valuable Player as a senior. Upon graduation, he entered the coaching ranks and joined his alma mater on the sidelines in 2010, helping the Bishops secure their third USA South title that same season. Spellman is currently in his ninth season on the Battling Bishop coaching staff and serves as Assistant Head Coach while guiding the defensive line.
Like Townsend, Spellman received his bachelor's degree in Exercise Science in the spring of 2009. Most recently, he was honored to receive Wesleyan's 2017 Alumni Achievement Award -- an award given to an NCWC graduate within the past ten years who has already made significant contributions in society.
In addition to his coaching duties, Spellman also serves as Director of the Shelton Leadership Challenge, a week-long camp that is based off of General Shelton's values-based leadership principles.
In a move to accommodate the schedules of all three inductees, a formal ceremony will be held in conjunction with Wesleyan's 2018 football home opener versus Thomas More College on September 1st.